I'm nearing the end of my 30-day Blue Zones Challenge, and honestly, it hasn't been challenging at all. Well, it has. But that wasn't the challenge's fault. The hard part was getting sick about a week ago — the flu, I think — and having to cancel all of the fun social plans as I'd made as part of the challenge.
The Blue Zones program is about more than food. It requires you to spend time with people in real life, but you can't do that when you're sick. So I canceled a wine night, a drop-in plan at a friend's open studio, and a 5K trail race last week. Bummer. But I'm hoping to make up some of those plans soon!
As for the food though, that's been easy. Granted, I haven't been able to taste much of anything for the past few days because my nose is stopped up, but I just ate anyway and pretended I could taste. This Black Bean & Potato Soup from the Nicoyan Blue Zone was awesome. It has chayote squash, which I'd never cooked with, plus potatoes and carrots. Perfect with a corn tortilla.
Paul and I both loved the Lasagna Soup from the Adventist Blue Zone. This has lentils, tomatoes, red wine, and brown rice lasagna noodles. I loved the big chunks of pasta. I topped mine with a little cashew cream.
On Friday night, I made the Tomato Orzo Soup from the Ikarian Blue Zone, but the whole wheat orzo absorbed all of the liquid so it was more of a pasta dish and less of a soup. I made this because my long run was scheduled for Saturday, and I always eat pasta the night before. But of course, I couldn't run while sick, so we just ate pasta for nothing. Not that you need a reason to eat pasta. It just feels like a performance food.
I loved the Longevity Dal Palak from the Blue Zones Challenge book. This was one that didn't come from a specific Blue Zone but rather was one of author Dan Buettner's recipes. You know Indian food is my favorite!
And finally, last night, I made a big batch of Slow Cooker Beans with Quick Cornbread from the Adventist Blue Zone. Soup beans and cornbread are one of life's greatest pleasures. This will be even better when I can taste it. My tastebuds are kinda coming back today, but they're not there 100% yet.